a better way

So, Jesus . . . uhhmm . . . Hi, this is Dale . . . again.  I, uhhmmm, I hate to be difficult or anything – I mean, I know there’s a lot going on, and frankly . . . well, sometimes I’m not really sure you’re even listening or . . . capable of hearing.  Sorry.

Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be doubtful – maybe that’s part of the problem, but since you’re supposed to know what I’m thinking, I figure it’s not really a surprise to you anyway.  Ha!  Secrets out, right?  Uhhh . . . ya.

So, anyway . . . ahem . . . I’m just thinking, well . . . that ummm, well . . . there must be a better way or something.

I mean, I’m just saying that, well, I’m feeling like this is just a poor way to go about saving the world.  Sorry.  I know, first I’m doubting, now I’m questioning, and heck, I guess I’m even throwing down judgement on you.  I mean, it’s like the trifecta of bad things, right? Ya.

If you know this stuff, though, and if you are listening, then like I said, it must be no surprise that I’m thinking such things, and besides, if you are who I think you are, then I suppose you’ll be willing to forgive me.  I mean, I hope – really hope! – you’re that guy, ’cause that’s the guy I need.

I mean,  I know you know, well . . . I think you know . . . er, I believe you know, that I know that I’m not really very good at this stuff, and frankly, well . . . I’m pretty sure none of us humans are.

Okay, so, here’s the deal, right?  This is what I can’t figure out.  Maybe just saying it will be helpful.  Maybe.

I just made a list of all the people I feel like I need to talk to, and pray for, and just people I’m generally concerned about.  Actually, I only made a list of the people that have been on my mind today, and there’s like 30 of them.  I mean, those are just the ones that I really feel pressed to engage with in some way just right now.

That doesn’t even include my 11 – YES! Eleven!  Why? – children that I believe you gave me for my benefit and theirs, or my wife . . . or my mother . . . or my sister, and her kids, and husband, or my other extended family, or the next door neighbors, or . . . well, you get the idea.

I mean, I’m really doing a rotten job just with my kids.  It seems like no matter how good my intentions are, I can never say all the things that need to be said, in the right way, and even if I get part of it out in a decent way, some crazy new thing comes up.  It’s like some cosmic whack-a-mole game or something that never ends!

If I really let my mind go, there are literally hundreds (or maybe 150, but a lot!) of other people that I know of or I’m connected to in some way that plague my heart with their needs and grief, plus all of those I don’t know, but the people known by the people I know, ya know?.  I know that sounds like I’m trying to be all pious, but obviously, you know that’s not the case.

On top of that, I mean, here I am at work, spending time thinking about these people that shouldn’t occupy my time while I’m supposed to be doing the respectable thing for my employer and serving them with all of my effort – just like you’ve told me to do.

But . . . by the time I get out of here, I’m, well, frankly . . . exhausted.  My energy level and time availability for even praying for all of those, well . . . much less, actually saying the things or doing the things that are on my mind and heart that need to be said or done for them.  I mean, I can’t control or be responsible for the short days and the need for sleep and the . . . just the . . . general weariness of living, right?

I mean, the parameters, you know, the limitations just seem too tight for success at this to even be possible.  Are you sure?

So, I’m just saying, I’m trying to do everything I can, but I just can’t see how to do it.  So, I’m not really sure this plan you’ve got worked out, about all of us ministering your gospel and loving one another, and meeting one another’s needs, and serving one another and whatnot, well, I’m not sure that’s working out so well.

At least, I don’t think it’s working for me.  Not yet.  Not unless you’ve got some magic thing I don’t know about . . . ummm, like prayer that really makes a difference, for example, or a better way to set priorities, or financial independence or something like that.

So, here I am, just saying that I don’t know how to do this.  I’m not very good at it.  I’m sure of that.

I could use a little help here.  Please show me what to do.  What am I doing wrong?  Well, I mean besides the obvious.  I know I’m doing lots wrong, but I’m not sure what I’m missing to figure out how to do it right.

So . . . uhhmmm, yeah, that’s it, I guess.  Sorry, really, for whining and such.  I know I’m not really supposed to feel like I have to “do” anything for you, since you love me and all already, and that whole grace thing and all, but . . .

Meanwhile, I’m just praying.  I’m praying for myself – as selfish as that must be – and then for all of those folks, and for all of the other folks, and I’m sorry I’m doing that while I’m working.

So, if you’re listening, please help us.  Please.  I hope you’re listening.  You must be listening.  We really need you.


Ummm, amen.

8 thoughts on “a better way”

  1. it’s late, and quiet, and as i’m reading your post, i identify, strongly, with the heart of what you’re asking. i feel like i’ve been steeping in some of that…at least the overwhelmingness of what attaining the right stuff must look like. no wonder jesus was tired and had to go be alone all the time. (and he didn’t have any kids at all!)

    i guess i’m starting to wonder if that’s part of the point. do we make much of a difference in the world if/when we can’t feel the enormous weight, the unfathomable burden, of what needs redeemed? not obsess over it, not focus on it, but just feel it, know it, and know, deep inside, our own limitations? do we do much lasting good when we think we have it all together? i’m not sure yet. i’ve never had it all together long enough to experiment.

    so, i think i’ll join you while you wait, if you don’t mind. i know i’m not very good at any of it, either, and, jesus, if you’re listening, please include me in dale’s “us”. i need you, too.


    1. Brittany – I really appreciate seeing you name around here, and even more than that, I appreciate your thought contribution. You’re saying what I’m feeling. Thanks!


    1. Jeff – You’re my one conistent commenter that I’ve never met. You’ve given me book and video recommendations (that are good!) and you are supportive even though I’m sure some of my presents a weird challenge to you. So, I just want to say “Thanks!”. It really means a lot. Now, go write more on your own blog!


  2. Hi Dale,

    I read blogs often yet rareley comment. Thanks for your rebellion. Sometimes I don’t want to be good at doing anything simply because it is expected. That is rebellion and I am learning that Jesus loves me anyway and even uses me in the midst of my stupidity. I love Him, some days selfishly so. Thanks Dale for sharing your gift.


    1. Andrea, I’m really happy to have your comment here. Thanks! You’re welcome for my rebellion, and thanks for yours. I completely get what you’re saying about the expected things. I can genuinely feel that in me a lot. It’s a good thing, mostly, when subjected to Christ. I’m so grateful for your blatant statement: I love Him. (even with the caveat.)


  3. That was good man. I like the stream of thought. I have nothing profound- or that will validate your transparency with what you wrote. I guess reading your thoughts makes me feel less small, because your thoughts feel…small. Do you know what I mean? Maybe it doesn’t make me feel less small, just less lonely. yeah. that’s it.


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